ABC's upcoming five-hour docudrama "The Path to 9/11" is quickly becoming a political cause célèbre.
The network has in recent days made changes to the film, set to air Sunday and Monday, after leading political figures, many of them Democrats, complained about bias and alleged inaccuracies. Meanwhile, a left-wing organization has launched a letter-writing campaign urging the network to "correct" or dump the miniseries, while conservative blogs have launched a vigorous defense.
To the Clintonistas, correcting the miniseries means to lie about the truth. The fact is that Clinton and Co. did mishandle and bungle terrorism, from the first WTC attack to the op against bin Laden, to the Khobar Towers, to Kenya and Tanzania, and to the USS Cole. However, the Left wants correction, ie, whitewashing and lying. But wait, there is more, from the same site:
After a screening of the first episode in Washington last week, some audience members attacked the film's depiction of the Clinton administration's pursuit of Osama bin Laden. Among those unhappy was Richard Ben-Veniste, an attorney and member of the 9/11 commission whom some conservatives have dismissed as a Democratic attack dog. Richard A. Clarke, the former counterterrorism czar, has criticized the movie for suggesting that the Clinton administration was in a position to capture Bin Laden in 1998 but canceled the mission at the last minute.
Funny, Mr. Clarke, but in the Richard Miniter book "Losing Bin Laden," you were among the sources that said Clinton did in fact, have such opportunities and positions to capture bin Laden. Which is it, Mr. Clarke? And as for bin Veniste, he is nothing more than a partisan hack.
After much discussion, ABC executives and the producers toned down, but did not eliminate entirely, a scene that involved Clinton's national security advisor, Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger, declining to give the order to kill Bin Laden, according to a person involved with the film who declined to be identified because of the sensitivities involved.
"That sequence has been the focus of attention," the source said, adding: "These are very slight alterations."
In addition, the network decided that the credits would say the film is based "in part" on the 9/11 commission report, rather than simply "based on" the bestselling report, as the producers originally intended.
ABC, meanwhile, is tip-toeing away from the film's version of events. In a statement, the network said the miniseries "is a dramatization, not a documentary, drawn from a variety of sources, including the 9/11 commission report, other published materials and from personal interviews."
The statement adds: "The events that lead to 9/11 originally sparked great debate, so it's not surprising that a movie surrounding those events has revived the debate. The attacks were a pivotal moment in our history that should never be forgotten and it's fitting that the discussion continues."
None of ABC's moves is likely to quell the debate, however.
No, it should not quell the CONSERVATIVE AND OBJECTIVE UPROAR. This is nothing beyond Stalinistic, beyond the worst brands of censorship. Conservatives, or at least sensible ones, did not demand Fahrenheit 911 not been seen. They just asked for facts. We did not ask for alterning of the film. However, these people, the Left, want to control history, want to control what you the American Public sees. Anyone who is an advocate of free speech, R or D, should be outraged about this craziness.
The Center for American Progress Action Fund, a liberal advocacy group, said on Wednesday it had collected 25,000 letters asking ABC to either correct or cancel the miniseries. "The miniseries presents an agenda that blames the Clinton administration for the 9/11 attacks while ignoring numerous errors and failures of the Bush administration," the center said in a news release.
Well, if these liberal jackbooted types would read the synopsis of the film, it covers the period from the 1993 WTC bombing to the 9/11 attacks. What numerous and heinous failures could Bush and Co. have seriously racked up in less than 8 months? Some people need a bit of a reality check.
I cannot believe that the Left in this country is going to get away with this. It is a travesty, it is a shame. I never want to hear the networks talk about freedom of expression again. They don't believe in it. They believe in whatever Bubba tells them.
Here is what the Maja Rushie had to say:
Okay. So there's the statement. Now, you want me to analyze this? (interruption) You think what? It sounds like -- yeah, the admission that they're still editing this. Well they can't shoot a different ending. If they start shooting a different ending, then we know something's up here. But there's something about this, and I said when I first got word that nobody has seen the final version. Uh-oh. Uh-oh. Now, I don't want to be conspiratorial, and I'm not trying to be paranoid, but there are certain things that we know to be true about the Drive-By Media and the entertainment media. Okay, The Path to 9/11 is not a documentary of the events leading to 9/11. It's a dramatization drawn from a variety of sources including the 9/11 Commission -- by the way, I had heard all these changes were going to be made.
This is not news that they were going to put -- I said earlier today, they were going to put graphics in front of this thing and say, hey, hey, hey, "This is not a documentary, it's a dramatization drawn from a variety of sources: 9/11 Commission report, other published materials, and personal interviews. The movie contains fictionalized scenes." The version I have does not say that. So that's, you know, probably been added. "No one has seen the final version of the film because the editing process is not yet complete, so criticisms of film specifics are premature and irresponsible." Well, they may not have seen the final version, but we've seen enough to know that they're editing things out of it.
I, on Monday, will be able to tell you, ladies and gentlemen, what has been taken out of this, if anything. Because if they are responding to the Democrats, if they are responding to the thuggery and the bully tactics in the Clinton administration, if they do take those scenes out of there, I will know. Not only I, but the others who have seen it. Richard Ben-Veniste, a whole room of Democrats, saw the whole thing. I'm not the only one that's seen it. So now they're still editing. And when they announce that they're editing it in the face of criticism from one political spectrum, the libs and the Democrats and the Clinton administration, well, the little red flags of curiosity start darting up. We will keep a sharp eye on this.
I'm still looking at this statement from ABC Entertainment on The Path to 9/11. Now, don't get confused. Folks, there's a couple stories out there, and some of them hit this morning and some of them hit yesterday about edits due to artistic consideration. There's a list things. In fact, Hugh Hewitt had them on his blog yesterday, and I mentioned it but I didn't get a chance to read them to you on the air so we linked to his blog at RushLimbaugh.com. Always go to RushLimbaugh.com. Despite what you hear on this program, there's always even more there, at the end of each day. These edits, these artistic edits that are going around now, there's an LA Times story, a Tribune Services story, the ones that Hugh Hewitt mentioned, they're the kind of edits that, for those of us who have seen this thing we probably wouldn't even know they had been made, from what Hugh says.
They're not substantive and so forth. But I tell you, the Clinton people are making a big scene out of this, and it just strikes me again. It's all about them. Are they concerned that maybe George Tenet has been misportrayed here? Are they concerned that the CIA maybe has been not fully accurately represented? No, they don't care about any of that. It's just about them. It's just about them. If they're making ABC, if they're really pressuring Bob Iger at ABC to make substantive changes in this to please the Clinton people, then they're going to have a big problem after this because they're going to have shown that they will buckle. This is all premature. I'm just saying the way I read this, "No one has seen the final version of the film because the editing process is not yet complete so criticisms of film specifics are premature and irresponsible."
Well, they know what the main criticisms are. They know what the controversial parts of the movie are, and if they take them out, it's not going to be good for them. And, you know, got the Clinton guys, even on TV, throwing Tenet under the bus. They don't care. They will throw anybody under the bus, in the park, whatever, in order to save themselves. This legacy they have is just so flimsy, it's so phony, built totally on spin. The idea that a five-hour TV movie can upset this legacy that they have established for themselves or that they think they've established for themselves.